I’ve been asked, “Can’t you take a joke?” more than a few times, and I bet you have too. Ever notice how it is always after someone has said something that is offensive and disrespectful?
Does the question leave you speechless the way it does me?
Do we take the time to sit down and listen to ourselves and understand how our words are heard by others? Or do we believe our words to be empty and meaningless and therefore, unimportant?
It’s a lame attempt to cover up for a rude statement by shifting responsibility from the speaker to the listener. The original statement and the ‘joke’ question that follows are disrespectful behavior. They take away from our intimacy and enjoyment of each other.
I have an answer to that question. My answer puts responsibility back where it belongs. Even better, it allows me to maintain my self-respect and show respect for others.
Here’s a hint: it’s not a smart-mouthed comeback.
Whether it’s called a “reorganization,” a “reclassification” or even a “reassignment,” if it results in a loss of responsibility or a downgrade in title, or someone with a more prestigious title is placed over you, then you know that they really mean is that you’ve been demoted.
A career doesn’t always follow the direction we picture it will. We stay true to ourselves when we take set-backs in stride and continue working toward our goal.
Being demoted hits the ego harder than almost anything else that can happen in our professional lives. It’s the combo burrito of a bad performance review and a pay cut, with a side order of spotlight because everyone knows about it, and for dessert, you get to keep showing up at the office, possibly working for the person who has replaced you.
When an unwelcome job change happens to you, you have three options. Continue reading
When a bad thing happens to someone else, what do you do? Just what kind of friend are you in a disaster?
A good friend stays with you when the going gets tough.
What kind of friend are you to the person who suffers permanent and severe brain damage? What do you do when a friend learns that his life savings have evaporated through theft, deceit or corruption? What kind of friend are you to the person who goes out for a long run on a sunny day and a bomb explodes, shredding her feet and legs?
Do you stick around while a friend grieves the loss of a marriage, or the death of a spouse or child? Does your presence bring happiness to someone who is out of a job? Are you the person who comes right over to lend a hand when the sump pump fails or the car needs to be retrieved from the impound lot?
What kind of friend are you now? What kind of friend do you want to be? Continue reading